Montreal man up in arms over narrow Canada Post mailboxes
Published Friday, September 18, 2015 6:41PM EDT
Standing five feet nine inches tall, and weighing 180 pounds, Peter Perron is not a large man. Nor does he have forearms like Popeye the Sailor Man.
But when he goes to fetch his mail from a Canada Post Community mailbox in his West Island Montreal neighbourhood, Perron's forearms get stuck.
The new boxes arrived last month, and that's when Perron realized that getting his parcels would no longer be easy.
"As soon as I opened up the door, I couldn’t get my arm in," Perron told CTV Montreal.
Despite Perron's efforts, the math simply doesn't add up.
Perron's forearms are 17 inches long and five inches wide, while the new mailboxes are 18 inches long and three inches wide.
That means the mailboxes aren't simply a tight squeeze, but letters at the box are essentially out of reach.
Perron says he isn't the only person in the neighbourhood who is up in arms about the new narrow mailboxes.
Local resident Nondas Roussakis also says he has trouble retrieving his mail.
"I'm not a big guy but it's just the hands are kind of tight and the wrist can't go in," said Roussakis.
Steven Venditto, who works at the local Monster Gym, is also concerned about the new mailboxes.
Venditto has four-inch forearms but he says that it won't just be people who are large and muscular that will be affected.
"Anybody can have a big forearm – not just guys at a gym. So that's going to create a lot of problems," Venditto said.
He says if he can't fit his arms into the mailboxes, someone else with narrower limbs will have to help him out.
Meanwhile, Perron and some of his neighbours have taken to using alternative measures to reach their mail.
Perron has placed a cardboard barrier to stop his mail from going to the back of the box.
But he says the barrier limits the amount of mail he can receive.
He has also seen some of his neighbours using barbecue tongs, which he plans to do when the weather gets cold.
Perron has informed Canada Post of the issue and it has offered to adapt his mailbox with a sliding tray.
However, he was perplexed by its initial out-of-the-box solution.
The Crown Corporation directed him to its department that deals with customers who have disabilities.
He says they proceeded to send him a form asking him to indicate that he is disabled or has physical problems.
"I refused because I'm physically fit," Perron said.
The form also said that the postal carrier might be able to adapt his mailbox with a sliding tray, but it would need confirmation that he can't reach the back of his mailbox.
"I have to go see a doctor (and) have a form filled stating the dimensions of my arm, and they can still refuse," Perron said.
Anick Losier, a spokeswoman for Canada Post, says that Perron's case is an "isolated incident" and others who face similar difficulties will also receive sliding trays.
"We have a program, called the accommodations program, and the program is designed to find a solution for anybody who may have any trouble accessing their mail," said Losier.
Perron has been informed that he will receive his sliding tray shortly.
As for the design, Canada Post says the new slimmer mailboxes are based on a U.S. model that can handle new types of parcels.
With a report from CTV Montreal's Caroline Van Vlaardingen